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Worship Metal Album Of The Week – Ropewalk – On Your Hands

Source // cf images.emusic.com

Treading a fine line between Hatebreed and Throwdown’s moderately accessible hardcore and Machine Head’s groove metal (think The Burning Red era but without the rapping, thankfully), Nottingham’s Ropewalk are suitably gritty, suitably bleak and suitably heavy enough to warrant album of the week status (even if this did come out at the tail end of last year)!

A slightly muddy production means you have to turn On Your Hands up LOUD to fully appreciate its endless stream of chugging riffs and fearsome vocals but we like things loud, so this is but a minor niggle. Sludgy grooves abound – the almighty “Is This Tomorrow?” brings to mind a certain Crowbar meets Down comparison – and the entire album is a pile-driving attack on the senses.

It’s refreshing to hear an album that offers precious little respite from the endless barrage of low-end rumbling riffs and a rhythm section that often locks into absolutely monumental grooves. The pace is measured at mid for the most part but “Forget” ups the velocity dramatically and is an album highlight; bruising, immediate and frequently blessed with nuances (a bone-scraping gargled scream here, a short but sweet funky bass intro there) that ensure attention is maintained at all times.

Ending proceedings on a high, “Bed Of Nails” is another Crowbar-esque aural mugging benefitting by a staccato beatdown that chimes the death knell for mediocre metal. Passion is the name of the game and Ropewalk bleed pure fervour and fury on this impressive debut release. With the welcome return of Raging Speedhorn and the recent rise of Kent brawlers Spreading the Disease, the UK’s groove-addled, sludge-inflected metal scene is growing in strength and Ropewalk have added themselves to the list of top quality bands peddling their filth in 2016!  8/10


About Chris Jennings (1976 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

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